National Science Foundation GRFP

The NSF GRFP provides a $34,000/year stipend and $12,000/year cost-of-education allowance for up to 3 years of research-based study leading to a MS or PhD in science, engineering, social science, or STEM education. The mission of the NSF GRFP is to ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and to reinforce its diversity.  The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.  The NSF welcomes applications from all qualified students and strongly encourages under-represented populations, including women, under-represented racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities, to apply for this fellowship.


To be eligible, you must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. permanent resident
  2. Intend to pursue a research-based Master's or Ph.D. program in an NSF-supported field
  3. Have completed no more than twelve months of full-time graduate study

Note that you can apply a maximum of two times for the NSF GRFP: the year before you begin graduate school and either your first year or your second year of graduate school.

Link to Official Website

When to apply

Summer prior to senior year, or Summer prior to fall of application. 

Next Steps

  1. If you are a graduate student, connect with the Graduate School for in-depth advising.
  2. Review the eligibility requirements on this page to ensure that you are (or will be) eligible to apply.
  3. Review the Graduate School calendar of events for dates/times for workshops. You must create an account to register for their events. For the 2018 application, workshops will be held at the following times. Undergraduates are welcome.
    1. Accelerated workshop (3 days)
      1. August 15 from 9:30 am - 12 pm (register here) - 313 DeBartolo Hall
      2. August 16 from 9:30 am - 12 pm (register here) - 313 DeBartolo Hall
      3. August 17 from 9:30 am - 12 pm (register here) - 313 DeBartolo Hall
    2. Extended workshop (every Thursday from 5-6:30 pm)
      1. August 23 - September 27 (no registration required) - 502 Main Building, Solarium (The Graduate School)
  4. Complete the Interest Form so that we can send you updates throughout the application process.
  5. View the official NSF GRFP program solicitation, the official NSF GRFP applicant informationGRFP Essay Insights, and the Graduate School NSF GRFP page for helpful information.
  6. Register for and complete the online application when it's available.

Calendar of Deadlines and Events

April 2019 Schedule an on-campus meeting with Jenny Smith
June 2019 Submit First Draft
August 2019 Submit Second Draft to Jenny
October 2019 National Application Deadline


Recommender Resources

Official NSF Advice for GRFP Letters of RecommendationFurther Advice (from an experienced fellowship advisor, courtesy of Penn State, which includes samples)